Shading effects of baobab (<i>Adansonia digitata L.</i>) stands on productivity of millet (<i>Pennisetum glaucum L.</i>) and sorghum (<i>Sorghum bicolor L.</i>) in farmed parklands in Northern Ghana
An experiment was conducted to examine the effects of shade of three different baobab stands on the general biological productivity of millet and sorghum at Doba in northern Ghana in 2013. A purposive sampling technique was used to identify three natural baobab tree stands viz. Highly-clumped, moderately-clumped and isolated. Each stand type was replicated three times. The experimental plots were laid in two strata, consisting of large plots containing the three categories of baobab stands and subplots nested within the large plots containing the cereal food crops. Characteristics of the baobab trees, especially plant height and crown diameters were determined, whilst light intensities in plots were measured with the aid of hand-held light level sensor meters. Growth parameters and yield components of millet and sorghum were also assessed. The results showed that there were weak correlations among many aspects of productivity determinants and the height, crown spread and light intensity received in the three baobab stands. However, in general, the light intensities received in both the east and the west cardinal points of the three baobab stands were significantly and positively correlated with millet plants height. Also, significant differences existed in millet plants dry weight at the western flanks of the trees, seed weight of millet at the eastern flanks of the trees, panicle weight of sorghum at both eastern and western flanks and seed weight of sorghum at the eastern flanks of the baobab trees. Education of farmers to cultivate cereals at least two meters away from trunks of baobab trees whilst promoting growing of shade tolerant vegetables closer to the trunks of baobab trees could be recommended.
Keywords: Shading effect, baobab, millet, sorghum, productivity.
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